For the past couple of years, Tom Cruise has been cultivating a scary, Scientology-spewing, Matt Lauer–fighting, possibly baby-faking persona. But as we worked the red carpet at last night’s tribute to the actor by the Museum of the Moving Image, we found ourselves quickly experiencing backlash to the backlash. He really is, as they say, a megawatt star. He can still spin liquor bottles like in Cocktail, he told us, laughing heartily to signal how clever he thought we were for asking. “I [recently] went to Croatia or somewhere and a guy asked me to get behind the bar and I was spinning with him,” he said. “I broke a bottle or two. I tried!” With the fans, he’s a tireless hand shaker and picture taker. “I just think it’s manners,” he told us, after being taken away to pose with small children for the fifth time in our conversation. We’ll admit it. He had us at "hello" (well, in his case, "HELLO!").
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Poe's elliptical story has provided fodder for many elaborate feature-film retellings, but Lougee's ruthlessly efficient take is short and to the point, packing in a whole lot of tension into seven slim minutes.